The fair is now over for another year. I had a good time there this past weekend.
Saturday September 9, 2006:
Carole picked me up at my house and we drove to Salmon Arm together (thanks Carole) in her little station wagon. After I had my wheel set up off I went for a quick check on my exhibits before the Sheep to Shawl Competition began. As I was nearing the main hall Louise & Sharon came out and told me I'd won first place with my woven table runner. WOW!! I really had not expected this as Louise also had a table runner entered and she is a FANTASTIC weaver. 95% or more of what I know about weaving was taught to me by Louise. She obviously is a great teacher and I a good student for me to have won here. To be honest, I entered the table runner only because I needed the "push" of a deadline date to get it finished. I had started this project in late December and had many problems with it in the beginning. Once I had them all sorted out and things going smoothly I needed a break from it for awhile... and that while got way too long. I am so proud and so grateful for how the table runner turned out and for the win with it. I also won first place with my Brandy Plum Jam and am very proud of that too. The Brandy Plum Jelly I entered didn't win anything, nor did the cushion from recycled material... that's okay. The other entries in the Recycled Materials were awesome and they deserved to win. With my 9 photos that I entered, one of them took Honorable Mention. Not as good as I'd hoped, but hey... way better than nothing, so I'm happy and looking forward to next year, lol.
The Sheep to Shawl Competition started at 11 a.m. sharp with 5 teams competing (Langley ~ from Langley, lol; Kalamalka ~ from Vernon; Monashee ~ from Vernon & Lumby; Ponderosa ~ from Kelowna; Shuswap ~ from Salmon Arm). Each team had 4 spinners, 1 spinner/plier, 1 weaver. In this competitioneach team starts with their look warped with protein fibre they spun at home (i.e.: sheep wool, silk, dog hair, rabbit fur, etc.) it can also be died if you wish. At the competition you are given a bag of sheep fleece that has been washed (this time it was white Romney, very nice fleece). The spinners must card (or "flick" if they prefer) this fibre and spin it into "singles" yarn. The spinner/plier also spins for the first bit until there is enough to start plying, then she takes singles from 2 spinners and plies them together into a 2 ply yarn which she windes onto bobbins for the weaver to use. Then of course, the plier takes singles from the next to spinners and so on. There is a 4 hour time limit to complete the making of the shawls. We are of course given breaks, like this time we were given from 12:30 - 1:30 for lunch and each person was given a meal ticket with which to buy lunch in the food fair, and there was also a coffee/tea & baked goods break later in the afternoon. We were very well treated! After the shawl is woven there is "finishing" to do. In our case we "twisted" the fringes then gave the shawl a quick wash, rolling it tightly in towels to dry it as much as possible before judging began. Other teams barely finished in time to get it off the loom before judging so didn't have the chance to "finish" them. The final outcome of the judging was: Langly ~ First; Monashee ~ Second; Kalamalka ~ Third. As a member of the Monashee Spinners & Weavers, I am very proud of our second place win.
Sunday September 10, 2006:
I almost "blew off" the Spinning Competition due to problems at home. My wonderful cat had 2 seisures during the night and I was up with him during it all, so was very worried about him, not wanting to leave him alone that day, and was tired too. However, I had to go to Salmon Arm to pick up my exhibits so may as well do the competition too. So off I went. I had wanted to go early so I could look around at more of the exhibits and the animals, but instead left with barely enough time to get there. There was a practice time at 1:30 p.m. where we were each given a small amount of the Dorset Sheep fleece (each fleece is different to spin than the next) to practice with and get the feel of. Then we were each given a weighed amount of fleece (24.8 grams I believe it was), then at 2 p.m. we started the competition, had a short tea & baked goodie break, then back to spinning. Gudi finished first, then Rosalie, followed by Noelle then I was last with 10 minutes left on the clock. As each spinner finished their yarn it was wound onto a "swift" to measure the length of the yarn. The yarn has to be spun very thin to get it as long as possible as the longest takes the prize, but it also has to be well spun as you get demerits for any breaks in the yarn as it's wound onto the swift. In this case it would have been to loose 1 yard of measure, but there was not one break in anyones yarn, so no penalty. The final measurement was: Noelle ~ 246 yds.; Me ~ 221 yds.; Gudi ~ 206 yds.; Rosalie ~ 184 yds. First place winner got $20 and each of the first, second and third got ribbons. As much as I would have loved first place, I am very happy and proud to have taken second place. I have only been spinning for 3 years (weaving for 2) and was competing with "seasoned" spinners. I had a great time visiting with these ladies and spinning with them, so "at the end of the day" the enjoyment was worth more than winning. I sure am glad I went.